BC CLAG is reaching out again to stress that families are still waiting and will continue to urge Premier Clark and Minister Bloy to honour the promises made seven years ago.
Vancouver (19 May 2011) - Seven years ago, British Colmubia's Deputy Premier and Minister for Children & Families, Christy Clark, introduced legislation to establish Community Living BC, promising that the new authority would change the lives of people with developmental disabilities and their families for the better.
Today, BC Community Living Action Group (BC CLAG) is speaking up on behalf of families across the province to note that her 2004 promises remain unfulfilled, with fewer options and opportunities, cuts, denial of support and growing alarm over the safety, health and quality of life of vulnerable adults and families.
On May 19, 2004, then Deputy Premier Clark promised the BC Legislature:
“I'm pleased to introduce Bill 45, the Community Living Authority Act. This bill introduces groundbreaking legislation which will transform how community living services are provided to individuals with developmental disabilities in British Columbia. This legislation gives British Columbians with developmental disabilities and their families better options and more opportunities in their communities. They'll be able to look forward to a safer, healthier and better quality of life.” – Debates of the Legislative Assembly (Hansard) May 19, 2004.
The anniversary coincides with Ms. Clark’s mandate to return to the Legislature as British Columbia’s new Premier and MLA for Vancouver Point Grey. To mark the event, BC CLAG partners visited the Legislature to remind Premier Clark that families are waiting for her promises to be honoured.
Community living stakeholders came together in an unprecedented consensus to form BC CLAG in 2010, prompted by growing concerns about cuts to and erosion of services and supports. In April 2011, BC CLAG issued a report explaining the serious challenges in community living and offering practical solutions. It reached out and invited Premier Clark and her new Minister for Community Living, Harry Bloy, to work with us to ensure their promises to BC families would be honoured.
Minister Bloy has dismissed the concerns and recommendations shared by families and stakeholders through BC CLAG. The request to meet remains unanswered. So BC CLAG is reaching out again to stress that families are still waiting and will continue to urge Premier Clark and Minister Bloy to honour the promises made seven years ago.
The BC Community Living Action Group (BC-CLAG) is a network of self-advocates, families, support staff and agencies who support adults with disabilities. Both Components of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), the British Columbia Government and General Employees Union (BCGEU) and Health Sciences Association of British Columbia (HSABC) are members of BC CLAG.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE